I love celebrations. I also love any excuse to throw a dinner party. So, Monday the 14th, ended the Durga Puja celebration. Durga Puja is an annual religious celebration of good over evil. The goddess Durga triumphs over Mahishasura, and every year it is a reminder that good always wins over evil. I think it is a nice thought, don’t you?
Here is part of the legend taken from Wikipedia – “Chandika transformed into Durga (with ten arms, not eighteen) and fought Mahishasur with different weapons and she finally killed Mahishasur with her trident. The remaining demon Bidalaksh and few demons ran away after the victory of Durga. After killing Mahishasur, the Gods cried in joy and played flutes, drums, sitars and rang bells, they also did a veneration to the Goddess to their victory for killing Mahishasur. Chandika (Durga) became very happy, the Gods tossed flowers at her and sang the Mahishasur Mardini song to the Goddess.”
(If you want to skip to the recipe, scroll all the way down)
So anyways, it’s the biggest holiday for Bengalis, and considering my boyfriend is Bengali…we had a dinner party and celebrated with our friends.
That’s how I set up the table.
We had Bengali eggplant fry. You can find the recipe here
Kishmish Kaju pulao:
Gulab Jamun: Recipe here
I made everything from scratch, and made sure it was all Bengali. I was super pleased with the dinner, and the food was really nice if I do say so myself.
Oh, I just realized I also made dal, but apparently I didn’t think it was important enough to take a picture of. Oops.
Now, to the recipe. This preparation of potatoes and cabbage is a little spicy, so hold back on the red chili powder if you’re not a fan of spicy. It is vegetarian, and also vegan! Using Kashmiri chili powder, not only gives it a little spice, but it add to the deep red color as well! It is not as hot as regular chili powder, so if you use regular, just don’t add as much else your tongue will be on fire.
- 3-5 tablespoons of oil
- 1 head of cabbage, shredded
- 3 large potatoes, cut into chunks
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cloves
- 3-4 red chilis
- a pinch of hing
- 1/2 tsp saunf powder (fennel)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 cups tomato puree (or a few tomatoes diced)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 2.5 tsp kashmiri chili powder
- water ( about 1.5-2 cups)
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3/4 tsp garam masala powder
In a large pot, heat oil on medium. Add the ingredients cumin seeds through hing. Once everything starts crackling, add the saunf powder and turmeric. Stir for a few seconds, then add the cabbage. Stir occasionally, until cabbage starts turning golden brown. Make sure you do see a good color, because the cooking the cabbage like this will give it a good flavor. An easy way to do this is turn the heat up for the first few minutes, then turn it back down till golden brown.
Add the tomato puree, stir, and simmer covered for a couple minutes. Add the potatoes, salt, and kashmiri chili powder. Stir, then add enough water to cover the vegetables about an inch over.
Simmer covered until potatoes are fork tender, but not mushy. Check occasionally, add more water if needed or wanted. Add sugar and garam masala powder. Stir, then it’s done!